So this past weekend, the DreadBrewer and I made our annual pilgrimage to the beer mecca of the East Coast: Asheville.
Last year, I was very good and took lots of pictures to document the awesomeness of our trip.
This year, I was very lazy and only snapped one terrible photo of DB, with which I’m not even going to bother torturing you.
I did feel that, since this is our sixth year making this trip, I am qualified to make some recommendations on places that you should visit, if you’re ever in the Asheville area. And it serves as a brief rundown of what we did on our trip, which was primarily eat and drink.
First off, where to stay: After trying a different hotel or B&B every year, last year we finally hit upon the best place to stay in Asheville. Asheville Cottages is amazing. It’s like staying in a ridiculously nice, new, and clean one bedroom house with all of the amenities of a hotel in the middle of the woods. The couple who runs it have now added two 2-bedroom cottages, which will come in handy if we ever decide to let our family accompany us. It is about a 15-20 minute drive into downtown, but that’s totally worth the picturesque setting and awesome accommodations, in my opinion.
Now, where to eat and drink. These are the places that we hit up this – and every – trip to Asheville.
Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company – This is always our first stop when we get into town. I can’t wait to get here because they have amazing food and DB can’t wait to get here because they have an amazing IPA. Also, the Merrimon Avenue location has a movie theater on site, which looks pretty cool even though we’ve never gone to a show there. Any place that you can bring beer into the movies gets a thumbs up in my book.
Sunny Pointe Cafe – This is hands-down one of the best breakfast places in Asheville. Everyone goes on and on about Early Girl Eatery and Tupelo Honey, but trust me: Sunny Pointe kicks their collective ass. The Huevos Rancheros are to die for and the Smoked Salmon Omelette? Killer! There is almost always a wait to get a table, but it’s usually brief and very, very worth it. If you do go here, be warned that they only have, like, 5 parking spots so you’ll probably have to park on the street and walk.
Cafe Azalea – This used to be our go-to breakfast spot, but they have since changed to only lunch and dinner (which we did not get a chance to try this trip). However, as their breakfast food was amazing, I feel very confident in recommending their lunch and dinner entrees as well. The DreadBrewer still reminisces about a latte he got here 3 or 4 years ago as the best latte of his life.
Wedge Brewing – If it’s a beautiful (or at least reasonably nice) day and you have some time to kill, definitely wander down to the River Arts district and check out Wedge. DB is desperately in love with their Iron Rail IPA; it’s very hoppy but totally sessionable – well suited to sitting out in their huge outdoor area near the railroad tracks and people watching. They don’t serve food here (with the exception of free peanuts), but there are food trucks that come daily. And another bonus is that their pints are only $4 and pitchers and growlers are only $12, so it’s not a huge money suck. If you lived in Asheville, this would totally be the place to take your dog and your kid and let them run around like idiots while you hung out with your buddies and drank beer and played corn hole (if that’s your thing).
Wicked Weed – Okay, I saved the best for last. This is a place we just discovered this go-round and DB and I are both obsessed. This place has the best beer in Asheville. (I think if I have to listen to DB tell me one more time that he wishes he could brew their Freak of Nature IPA, I will scream.) The food was phenomenal. The bar is super cool and the outside seating area was awesome as well. We easily wasted 2 hours just hanging out and going into raptures over the beer; those 2 hours could just have easily been 4 or 6, but common sense prevailed. They also have really, really neat merch and I just had to buy one of their T-shirts. (Because I really need another brewery shirt….) If there is only one place off this list that you ever go to, please check out Wicked Weed. I mean, they just won a Gold at GABF for Pete’s sake! You know it’ll be worth the trip!
So there you have it – BrewsterMama’s recommendations for Asheville. As you can tell, pretty much the entire 48 hours of this trip was dedicated to overshooting my recommended calorie intake for the day. But it was totally worth it and I can’t wait to go back again next fall.